(cba:news) V603 Aql, let the show begin!

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Mon Jul 8 19:11:19 EDT 2002

Dear CBAers,

With a final crescendo - supplied by Berto, Bob Rea, and Greg Bolt - the
V442 campaign has drawn to a fine conclusion.  Just 25 days of coverage,
but nearly every day, and nearly every longitude... a CBA special.  The
star shows a negative superhump throughout, of large amplitude but very
simple waveform (essentially a pure sinusoid).  I've even finished the
paper!  (OK, admittedly I also have data from 2001 and 1995, but I'm
pretty happy about it since I'm sending it off - bundled with spectroscopy
and with RX1643+34 - tomorrow!)

So that's IT for V442 Oph.  And it's now finally time to usher V603 Aql
onto center stage.  With our new strength in South Africa and AU/NZ, we
can now get very long light curves for this star.  The last time we looked
thoroughly, the star showed simultaneous negative and positive superhumps.
That gives us the opportunity to measure period changes in each - which
should be of opposite sign, if the two types of precession are nodal
and apsidal.  We'll see!  (I hope)  At V=11.7, the star is a fine target
for telescopes of any size.  Neil Butterworth has been going strong on it
for about a week, and obtained good data with an 8-inch.  But please don't
spurn it because your telescope is too proud to be caught collecting
photons from such a bright star; I know telescopes can be that way
sometimes, but in this case the light curves of higher quality and time
resolution will repay the effort.

Also, if you have filters and plenty of photons, pop in a V filter.  That
keeps calibration issues under better control.

Love them equatorial stars...

I still *crave* light curves on V533 Her!  I really hope that northern
observers with a little extra glass will pound the star hard for the next
few weeks.

Then there's V1494 Aql... the "Biosphere Nova", as I call it.  That's a
good alternative to V603 Aql, if your neighbors are observing V603 and you
hate to just do what they're doing.

Easy menu, hey?


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